Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The quest had been assigned to him by the system, so the threat must have been real.
If the system had concluded that Beiluo City was about to be taken by the enemy, no matter how much his father thought things were under control, that was probably overconfidence.
Lu Fan was frustrated. Did the opening quest have to be so high-stakes?
Yet defending was supposed to be easier than laying a siege.
Although the mayor of North County had his 50,000 men at the gate of Beiluo City, Lu Changkong was no ordinary defending general.
Lu Fan turned back to Ning Zhao. "Sister Ning, how many men does Beiluo City have altogether as our defensive force?"
"Young Master, your father will take care of this. You don't need to worry about that kind of stuff," Ning Zhao said sincerely.
The Young Master was already living a tough life. He didn't need to be concerned over this trifling matter as well.
"I was just asking..." Lu Fan gave a tender smile.
"Beiluo City has an army of twenty thousand. If we included the forces of the three major aristocratic families and a few other smaller families, we might put together about twenty-five thousand men. So it would be difficult for North County's army to break into Beiluo City," Ning Zhao answered.
She was no ordinary maid. She had her own opinion based on her analysis of Beiluo City's situation.
"The three major aristocratic families?" Lu Fan squinted.
If an impregnable city ended up being taken by the enemy, external forces like an invading army weren't actually the most important threat. There was a larger chance that it would crumble from within.
Was it possible that the three major aristocratic families had colluded with the mayor of North County?
Lu Fan's long slender fingers were tapping lightly on the thin blanket covering his legs.
Lu Fan thought for a while before voicing this question. "Sister Ning, do you think the three families might betray us?"
Ning Zhao hadn't expected that question. She raised her hand to tuck wisps of hair away from her face as her brows furrowed. "Impossible... The three aristocratic families would never dare to betray us." She shook her head as she spoke.
"After all, the Master is the only Grandmaster in Beiluo City. He has high prestige in this place."
The look in Lu Fan's eyes indicated that he wasn't convinced. "The Great Zhou Dynasty itself is a mess. And the emperor was revered as well, wasn't he? People in this world place their own interests above all else. Relying on something as abstract as prestige isn't enough."
"Sister Ning, take me to the city wall."
Ning Zhao's face paled a little. "Young Master, it's very dangerous up there on the wall."
"Sister Ning, don't forget that an immortal touched the top of my head!" Lu Fan gave a faint smile.
He had a feeling that this made-up immortal would serve as his cover for a lot of things in the future.
Ning Zhao took a deep breath. She felt the vibration of the Spirit Qi in her dantian. She still appeared hesitant.
At last, she chose to believe Lu Fan.
After all, the Young Master was the man with the key to changing the world.
Pushing Lu Fan in the wheelchair, Ning Zhao left Lu Manor.
Yi Yue and Ni Yu also followed as they realized what was happening.
On the city wall of Beiluo City...
Wearing ice-cold armor, his Qingfeng sword tucked into his waistband, Lu Changkong stood on the city wall with his brows furrowed and his flint-like eyes gazing ahead. His aura was striking.
Around him, several strong generals were also standing by, holding their swords.
Under the huge mottled stones of the city wall, dense lines of soldiers and officers formed an overwhelming siege in front of Beiluo City.
Right in front of the gate, a strong, fierce man was shouting and cursing on his horse, holding his knife high. He was shirtless, showing off his tattoo-covered olive skin.
Right in front of him lay the dead bodies of a man and his horse, both chopped in half. Gurgling blood reddened the yellow sand.
Lu Changkong's face was dark.
"What's that guy's name?" Lu Changkong asked his men in a cold voice. He didn't turn around.
"City Master, that man is Feng Shi, a general under Tantai Xuan, the mayor of North County. He's known for his almost unnatural power and strength."
Lu Changkong's men's faces had also fallen.
During the pre-battle challenging, one of the major generals from Beiluo City had been unexpectedly slaughtered, along with his horse. He hadn't even had time to retreat to the city. That was a huge slap in the face.
It was a heavy blow to Beiluo City's morale as well.
"This man is very strong, among the best. Does anyone from our Beiluo City dare to accept his challenge now?" one of Lu Changkong's deputies asked with a stony face.
Lu Changkong's sharp eyes roved over the enemy forces.
It was as if his gaze swept through the whole army until it reached a tent, searching for someone in specific.
"For the opening show, he sent a top First-Tier martial arts practitioner. What's Tantai Xuan's real plan?" Lu Changkong wondered.
Even among his men, there were only a few First-Tier practitioners.
There were even fewer top First-Tier practitioners such as Feng Shi.
Under the city wall…
Feng Shi was still showcasing his tall, muscular build. His thick hair was knotted in numerous braids. His attitude was extremely arrogant and brash.
He had ridden his horse right to the foot of the city wall, and he was still shouting curses up at the defenders. The huge knife that could slaughter a horse with one strike was tucked behind his back.
"Lu, you old fart of Beiluo City! Do you dare come out to fight me?!"
"Lu Changkong! You are a coward! Huddling up there on the wall like a f*cking turtle? Is that all you've got?"
"What kind of trash did you send me? I cut him down with one strike! It was too easy! I didn't even get to enjoy myself!"
"Ha, ha, ha! Loser Lu, I heard that your son Lu Fan lies paralyzed in bed, but he is pretty and fresh! You might as well give him to me! My men would all like someone soft to play with!"
Feng Shi's laughter was wild. The horse under him breathed out hot air.
On the city wall, all the generals looked outraged.
Lu Changkong had many strong fighters. They all clenched their fists tightly.
They begged Lu Changkong to send them out to fight Feng Shi.
Unfortunately, Lu Changkong didn't.
As the only Grandmaster in Beiluo City, he knew his men very well.
Feng Shi was a top First-Tier martial arts practitioner born with great strength and power. Regular First-Tier practitioners wouldn't stand a chance fighting him one-on-one.
If he sent any of his men, they would simply die for nothing.
He ignored their requests and cast a cold glance at Feng Shi on his horse.
Although trash talk and pre-battle challenges were normal, the garbage that came out of this man's mouth was simply too nasty.
Lu Changkong wouldn't have had a problem with it if Feng Shi was just trying to humiliate him.
But when the man said nasty things about his son, it was much harder for Lu Changkong to bear.
Lu Fan was Lu Changkong's ultimate trigger.
Lu Changkong's hand rested on the sword tucked into his waistband. His eyes were full of boiling rage and intent to kill. He suddenly turned around.
All the generals' and officers' hearts skipped a beat. Raw excitement glinted in their eyes.
The city master, who was a Grandmaster, would finally fight in person!
"You guys guard the front gate and keep an eye on the three aristocratic families. If they dare to show a hint of betrayal, simply cut their heads off and wait for me," Lu Changkong said to his trusted followers when he reached the gate. His expression was solemn as he gave the order.
His men were all surprised, but they nodded seriously and accepted the order.
In the next moment, Lu Changkong hopped on a Ferghana horse, whose hair was smooth and glowing in the sunlight.
He spurred the horse, the reins raised high in his hands.
The horse's whinny was loud and clear.
The gate opened.
The horse ran across the black bricks, leaving the city defenders in the dust.
Lu Changkong dashed out of Beiluo City like a spear aimed straight at its target.
Because of the besieging enemy, the civilians in Beiluo City had all gone back to their own houses.
The streets were deserted, as if the city were abandoned.
The quiet squeaking of the wheelchair's wooden wheels sounded loudly in the empty streets.
An enchanting woman with a mature aura and beautiful figure was pushing the wheelchair. Her delicate hands rested casually on the handles as she and her charge moved slowly toward the city wall.
In the wheelchair, a young man in white sat quietly. He had a thin wool blanket cast over his legs. His chin rested on one hand, while the fingers of his other hand tapped lightly on the blanket.
His posture perfectly showcased his pride, touched with just a hint of aloofness.
On their right, a foxy, pretty maid wearing a light yellow muslin dress followed with her head down. Her long whip swung quietly from its place at her waist.
On the left trotted a girl with her hair up in buns. The softness of her features made her look even young as she tried to catch up with the group to hold an umbrella for the young man.
It was Lu Fan and his three maids.
The odd group looked particularly strange on the empty street.
Suddenly, a burst of loud, wild laughter was heard from outside the city.
Although the sound had been weakened by distance, to martial arts practitioners who had acute senses, the message was still very clear.
"Ha, ha, ha! Loser Lu, I heard that your son Lu Fan lies paralyzed in bed, but he is pretty and fresh! You might as well give him to me! My men would all like someone pretty and fresh!"
Lu Fan couldn't hear it very well.
But he did catch part of it and thought someone was complimenting his handsomeness.
He had his system, but on the stats page, it showed that his Physique Strength was only 0.5, which meant that he couldn't punch his way out of a paper bag. He would be completely incompetent in a fight.
But Ning Zhao and Yi Yue heard every word of it.
Ning Zhao's expression darkened. A cold, murderous look appeared on her pretty face.
Yi Yue bit her lower lip. Her hand reached for the whip, and she also wore the look of a killer.
Ni Yu looked confused. She, like Lu Fan, hadn't heard much. So she simply kept holding the umbrella as she hurried after them.
Ning Zhao was pushing the wheelchair too quickly for Ni Yu to stay apace easily. She had to trot the whole way.
"Sister Ning, what was the guy outside the city yelling about?" Lu Fan asked, using the hand that wasn't holding his chin to straighten the blanket.
A wide smile instantly replaced the murderous look on Ning Zhao's face. "Nothing, Young Master."
Lu Fan rolled his eyes. Her murderous expression hadn't escaped him.
"Don't worry. Simply tell me. I'm your Young Master. I've been lying in bed for years and have long since gotten used to all kinds of rumors and malicious words. I've developed an extraordinarily peaceful mind. Come rain or shine, I will still keep my cool." Lu Fan gave a faint smile.
Ning Zhao's smile remained carefully in place. She didn't say anything.
Yeah, right. Like she would believe him.
Due to the problem with his legs, Lu Fan's temper had always been terrible. As his maid, Ning Zhao knew this very well.
"Yi Yue, how about you tell me?"
Lu Fan turned to Yi Yue, who was now holding the umbrella for him.
Yi Yue hesitated. She didn't want to say anything. Yet considering that she still wanted to get Lu Fan to share the immortal encounter with her someday, she didn't dare say no. Yi Yue eventually told Lu Fan everything Feng Shi had said.
Before she could even finish, Lu Fan gasped as he put a hand to his chest.
The smile on his face faded.
"My chest feels so tight... I, your Young Master, have a pain in my liver."
He was so upset that even his liver hurt?
Ning Zhao and Yi Yue were speechless.
Had this man really just sworn that he had a calm temper and a peaceful mind?
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